Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A NewFo Finish -- Jason's Quilt

You may remember that in this post I was just starting on a special quilt for my nephew, Jason.  I really wanted to get it finished this year since it has been on my mind for a long (very long) time.

I bought a yellow polished cotton and planned to use the same green that I used in Ashley's quilt.  But I found the perfect Kona solid for the alternate blocks and went with that instead.

I have been sewing almost my entire life, but I still forget the basics sometimes.  When you have a sample block you really need to look at it once in a while!  I made all the side segments for all the blocks and they were perfect.  

And then I made all the center segments and they were perfect -- I thought.  You can see though, that I did not look at my sample block!!  When making complicated blocks simply turning a segment the wrong way makes them all turn out backwards.  Needless to say I did a LOT of "reverse sewing" that day.

Ahhhh, that's better!

After all that ripping and re-sewing I finally got the blocks finished and put together.

The border presented its own challenges.  I wanted to use all the embroidery from the original quilt top, but it was originally in the corners, and I didn't want to cut through that.  

The best thing to do would be simple "Y" seams, right?

Uh Oh! Not so fast.  I had to put an underlining behind the old embroidered sections, stitch the corners, figure out the exact sizes of the middle sections, and get the whole thing put together with the final border.  

There were a few places where someone forgot to stitch with embroidery thread.  At first I thought I would stitch them myself, but then decided to leave it as is.  That's part of what makes it special, after all.

Finally, the quilt was finished.  Oh, Happy Day!!

I even used the last of the stitched blocks on the back!

The best part of this entire endeavor was giving the quilt to my nephew, Jason, on Christmas Eve.  A very special quilt for a very special young man.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

My New Project for November -- Marmalade Squares

I really enjoy getting emails from Moda with new "recipes" from their Bake Shop. They are always so tempting.  This month I decided to use one for my 2013 NewFo Challenge for November.  It's the Marmalade Squares pattern by Katie Blakesley.   

I like the collection and the background used in the sample, but this quilt is for a special newborn and I wanted to use leftover scraps from garments I made for Baby's mother Naomi and Aunt Joanna when they were little girls.   I spent nearly all day sewing yesterday, but I just wasn't pleased with how my quilt top turned out -- there is an error in the pattern and mine looked a little unbalanced compared to the photo above. 

I spent a few hours this morning ripping out and re-configuring and ended up with a more visually pleasing effect.

(The color is more accurate in this picture.)  I used leftover fabric from Naomi's wedding quilt so Baby's quilt will be extra special, I hope.

I got the binding made ……

…… and started hand-quilting while watching football with Hubby this afternoon. 

This is the most progress I have ever made on one of my NewFo projects so I am a happy girl.   I'm linking up with Barbara's Linky Party so you can go look at what everyone else has been working on this month!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Special Gramma Quilt

When Jan's daughter asked her to make curtains for her kitchen from Coca Cola fabric, she was more than happy to do so.  Once she finished making as many accessories as she possibly could with the leftover fabric, though, she was sick of it and never wanted to see it again.  Being the generous friend that she is, she managed to lose it to her quilty friends in the form of three-inch strips playing Left-Center-Right at quilt retreat.  Being the fun friend I am I secretly gathered them up from everyone thinking that some day I would make her a fun surprise from them.

Nothing needs a fun surprise like a first-time Gramma so when Jan found out her Coca-Cola loving daughter was (FINALLY!) expecting a baby, I knew I had to make a baby quilt.  I wanted to use up as much of the fabric as I could, but I also wanted to add a few more fabrics for interest.  I decided on something from the Michael Miller Tea Room collection and just made Sawtooth Star blocks.

Originally I planned to use the Apron Ruffles print for the borders but just used it as the backing instead.

I did use up almost every last bit of the fabric.  When Jan's little grand-daughter, Rose Mary Jean, was born I sent the leftovers to her in a card in case she wanted to make something else from them.  

She thought that was funny!

She thought the whole thing was funny!

But she really does love her "Fun at Gramma's" quilt ……..

…….. and I think little Rose Mary will too!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Progress -- Aidan's Quilt is a Top!

For some reason I have been really motivated on this project and have Aidan's quilt already into a top.  Using a pretty easy pattern helps, but the fact that Aidan checks on my progress whenever he's here doesn't hurt!  The blocks go fast and stacked up pretty quickly.

Getting to spend time sewing with friends one day last week helped, too.  I got all the strips made and most of the rows put together that day. 

This is such a fun quilt.  I really love the way you "see" curves but all the seams  are straight lines.  Putting on the first black inner border made it really float.

If this is to be a real Alabama quilt I needed to get some Houndstooth into it so I ordered that from Fabric.com.  Once again, I am happy to report great service.  Not only was it delivered within a few days, but apparently they have an "end of the bolt" deal.  I got an extra 17 inches of fabric.  Can't argue about that!

I had found another Alabama print (online of course!) which I used for the final border and got the top finished today.

I'm pretty pleased with this one.  I'm going to cut the binding from what's left of the Houndstooth fabric and use everything else that's leftover for a pieced backing.

The next time Aidan is here to check on my progress he'll have a surprise!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

My New Project for October -- Another Quilt for Aidan

It's already time to share my October project for the 2013 NewFo Challenge.  A few weeks ago my grandson, Aidan, asked me to make him an Alabama quilt.  (As in the football team -- The Crimson Tide.)  The last quilt I made him was his Star Wars Quilt in March 2011.  I was thinking that one would keep him happy a little longer than this, but my grands can ask me for just about anything these days.  (Well.....since always, I guess!)  The only fabric I could find locally was this print which I paired with my favorite black, Michael Miller Jet Black.  

Since it was the only Bama fabric my local quilt shop had left I was really hoping Aidan would like it.  He was here the other day and in a very casual way said, "I really don't like Star Wars anymore."   Where did that come from?  Could he possibly be thinking about the quilt he had asked me to make?  I told him that just happened to remind me that I bought some Alabama fabric and got it out to show him.  He looked at it closely, thought about it, then gave me a "thumbs up" and said, "Good job!"  Whew!  Good for me.  

I decided to keep the quilt pretty simple (he's only 7 after all!) so went with one of my favorites - "Over and Under" by Paula Hughes.  

I love this pattern because it's so simple!  4.5" x 6.5" focus fabric with a 1.5' by 6.5" strip on each side.  When you alternate the blocks and then but a border around it you get a woven effect.  

I'm using this pattern for the fifth time on this quilt.  I think I'll have it ready in record time.  

I am linking up to Barbara's Linky Party.  Go take a look at all the NewFo's started this month!

Friday, November 1, 2013

It's In The Mail

I just fell in love with this fabric so I had to make a matching pillowcase for Aemarys's quilt before I put it into the mail to her.

It's from the "Keep it Sassy" line by Moda and comes in several other colors.  The Cotton Candy pink is from the tried and true Kona Solids which I usually buy from The Fat Quarter Shop.  You can get just about any color you want in that line!

Can you believe I even found a purple and pink dotted note card to include?  

I put it into a big plastic storage bag, then packaged it and shipped it out earlier this week.  She might even be sleeping under it tonight.  

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Finally! A Finish!!

The mostly pink Tile Tango quilt I started as a NewFo in April is finished!  This is my first finish since July so I'm pretty excited.  I used to get about 15 to 20 quilts made every year until I moved to Alabama to be near my grandchildren.  Now for some strange reason I don't have nearly as much time to sew as I did before!  (It's a good trade off though -- I LOVE being here!!)

I used Bubble Gum pink Rainbow thread by Superior Threads and quilted it on my Bernina.

It was fun cramming a 75" x 108" quilt through a domestic machine.  

That's why I decided that instead of stippling I would just stitch along the seam lines with my machine's serpentine stitch.  I really like the way it looks.

After I quilted it I cleaned and oiled my machine and changed the needle which is really important to do between projects.  I use a Q-tip to clean out the dust because canned air actually forces the dust into the machine, and blowing into it to get the dust out puts the moisture from your breath into the machine - neither of which is a good thing!  Can you tell it needed a little cleaning?

Since the pink fabric is called "Cotton Candy" and the thread is called "Bubble Gum" I had some fun quilt names running through my head, but Hubby suggested "Pretty in Pink" and I think that's the perfect name for it.  

So tonight I will sleep under it (something I always do before giving away a quilt) and tomorrow I will wash it and get it ready to mail.  I can hardly wait for Aemarys to get her new quilt.  She has loved her baby quilt so long.  She's ready for a big girl quilt!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Old Quilts and Country Hoedowns

Last Saturday night our Newcomers Club of Greater Huntsville had a Country Hoedown.  That morning while we were decorating I noticed that the display in front of the building needed a little something.  I just happened to have an old quilt in the trunk of my car so I grabbed it and draped it over the step-ladder.  Now it was perfect!!

It's really just a tied comforter made out of all kinds of scraps left from garment sewing in the mid 70's and early 80's.  It is a well-worn quilt so it stays in my car, "just in case", and has come in handy many times. 

A lot of the fabrics are almost disintegrated.  A few of those I remember buying at the J.C.Penney for 25 cents a yard when I was a student's wife in 1974. 

This quilt has been used as a drop cloth for my boys' craft projects (notice the paint) and as a moving pad when hauling large purchases or pieces of furniture, so it has more than served its purpose.

Yes, some of the fabrics look brand new, don't they?  You might never guess, but they are polyesters.  That would explain it!  I see four pieces left from my maternity clothes, one from my boys' pajamas, and even one from my bridesmaids' dresses.  I am certain they will last forever.  

This got me thinking about old quilts so I thought I would share with you just a few I have which were made by my grandparents.  I love this blue and white Drunkard's Path.

This Drunkard's Path is not made in the traditional setting, but it's really pretty.

I think this is an interesting star block.  

My grandparents had each of us select an applique pattern from a sales catalog when we were probably about 10 or 12.  Then they made the quilts and put them back for our weddings.  By the time I was of "marrying age" I had forgotten what mine would look like so it was still a surprise.

I think this one is my favorite.  It's a whole cloth quilted with green embroidery floss, or maybe even crochet thread.

After they stopped quilting my grandfather gave me this pink and white Hearts and Gizzards baby quilt top.  When I was expecting my first baby I finished it for my newborn, and it became the first of many hand-quilted quilts I was to make.  Both our boys used the quilt (pre-ultra sound days!) and now it's tucked away in my cedar chest.

I hope you've enjoyed seeing some old quilts.  I can't sign off without showing you at least one picture from the Hoedown.  This is Hubby and me in our Hoedown garb.  I don't get a whole lot of opportunities to wear pig-tails.  None, actually.  But that might be a good thing.